About Me

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I have spent a great deal of my life battling illness. I suffered from Crohn's Disease and eventually had abdominal surgery, thwarting the Crohn's and budding cancer cells. Since my surgery in 1995 I have been relatively free from Crohns', although I had several subsequent surgeries related to my ileostomy..When my disease was in remission, I don't think my husband realized how bad it could get, but he has stood by me. I also have suffered from various autoimmune disorders and am diagnosed with Stage IV Kidney Disease. Fortunately, I am maintaining and do not need dialysis at this point. We adopted our son and later found out he had cerebral palsy, so he became my career. Dan has had two surgeries and tons of therapy and is able to walk because of it. He is a college graduate and is employed as an Information Specialist. We are very proud of his accomplishements. I am now part of the retired generation and still getting used to the idea. I do enjoy crafting, traveling and being with family and friends. I am active in my church and feel that the hardships we endure are there to build our faith. I like to live life in the "now" as we never know how much time is left.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Log in My Eye

Venting Part 2
 
Well, the person who I felt criticized by read my blog, and it just got worse from there!
 
Never argue by text or try to resolve an issue!  The texting just went on and on, until it did get worse!
 
I read this chapter this morning:
Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye
 
We all have our imperfections.  We all have our own logs.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Needing to Vent
 
Old insecurities are difficult to get past.  Growing up, I was
too skinny, cross-eyed, "bug eyed," and wore glasses.  My hair
wasn't as pretty as others, my clothes were not as nice. I envied others.
Others whose fathers didn't drink or quit their jobs, others whose mothers didn't have to work.
 
My mom was very reserved with her emotions.  She was used to hiding her feelings
and protecting us.  But, she was also like her mother, in that she didn't display that much affection
or give praise.  Any praise given, was followed with a "but," or someone else did or had something better. 
 
Fast forward to today.  I am super sensitive, always have been.  It hurts, when someone tells me
they don't like something about me, or "why don't I wear .....(fill in the blank),"  I am "too negative,"
I think wrong, and I could go on and on.
 
I can only be the person that God designed me to be, and not who someone else thinks I should be.
 
Please accept me the way that I am.  I don't need your criticism, just your love.
 


Saturday, September 10, 2016

So Much Busy-ness!

I have been doing things other than retreating within myself the past few weeks. 
 
I went to a one day crop on August 27th.  These are from 9-9 and surprisingly, I get a lot done!
I didn't take photos of my scrapbook layouts, but did of this card:
 

 
I like the idea of using fun foam with a peel off sticker on my Cricut to cut out the image for the shaker card, then do the same with card stock for the top.
A simple card I made for a friend who was recently
diagnosed with cancer to let her know I am praying for her.
Modeling my paper flowers in my hair. 
It was a challenge to create something with our paper flowers, so I made a hair pin.  The Crop had a Hawaiin
theme, can't you tell?

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On Sunday I went to the county fair with my sister.  I really don't see anyone that I know, well, maybe a few gals.  I danced in the "old rock" pavilion with the other old ladies.  At first, I was hesitant, but thought, what the heck, they are all older than me or my age, so what!

My sister and I both bought a Lu La Roe legging and top outfit.  Lu La Roe is the latest rage in leggings and home based business, and NO, I am not going to sign up!

My sister wore hers on our Red Hat trip.

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On Monday I got my hair cut even shorter!   I got sick of using the curling iron.

 
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On Wednesday, August 31st, my sister and I joined other Red Hatters on
a trip to Rawhide Boy's Ranch.  It was founded in the 60's to provide a faith based
home for delinquent boys, providing them with life skills and love.
 
We were provided a HUGE buffet lunch.  You know, teenage boys
like to eat!
I forget how many acres of land are on this ranch, but it is virtually impossible for a boy to
run away.  The boys live within a family structure with a married couple and no more than eight total people in a house. There is equine therapy, a school, chapel, and they learn how to
repair and restore old cars and boats that are donated and then auctioned off.
This is the door to the Bart Starr Museum there.  Bart Starr is a famous quarterback
for the Green Bay Packers and has supported this organization from the beginning,
offering it creditability and opportunity for large donations.
Aren't my sister and I just lovely?...LOL!  She is wearing her leggings
with all the important parts covered!

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On Thursday morning I worked the desk at the Senior Center.  Saturday was my husband's birthday so I baked a cake.  We went out to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.  I like that place, but our family has a rule.  NEVER LET ANYONE KNOW IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY!  None of us wants the embarrassing ""Happy Birthday" song!

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On Sunday, I joined my bff and family for Kite Fest.  You can read about it on her blog.
Linda Loves Chocolate

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On Wednesday, September 7th, I had to work the desk again at the Senior Center.  We were really busy that morning and the morning went fast!

In the afternoon, I had a church committee meeting to plan the grand finale for our church's golden anniversary.

I was the only one signed up for the evening stamp class, so the consultant came over to my house.
I got a head start on my Christmas cards, thanks to a kit from last year's Stampin Up.



 
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ONE MORE THING
 
I saw the nephrologist and my kidney disease is a stable Stage IV.  No worse, and a bit better.
I also know someone else who has this and has the chronic fatigue.  Guess I just have to live with it.
 
Prayers always appreciated for the chronic abdominal pain I have been experiencing this week, along with urinary discomfort from IC.  These are issues I just have to learn to accept and live with and make the best of life, no matter what.  I have learned that very well from my friend, who has terminal cancer.  Bless her.
 


 



Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday Musings

Cancer and other Ugly Stuff
 
I decided that I don't cope with cancer very well.  My bff is the one who has this awful disease.  Another friend was also recently diagnosed.
 
I try to put my head in the sand, to retreat, to distance myself.  It is for my own self protection, but not always the kindest thing to do.
 
I wish I was stronger, a better friend.
 
I have had many ailments since my bff's diagnosis.  I know it is the stress.  That is just the way I am programmed.  I internalize things without realizing it.
 
All I can do is try to do better on both ends. It is easier for me when she is feeling good, but that's not the way to be.  Prayer would be good.
 

I love this picture of us.  We were both relatively healthy.  It was shortly after I had my Ileostomy.  Linda was such a help during that time.  She ran my Avon business for me while I was hospitalized, treated me to little gifts every day that I was in the hospital (and there were a lot!).  She has always been so supportive of me.  I am not so great.
 
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Church
 
To me it's more that a building to worship; it is a large part of my life.  In the past I always had a good friend at church with whom to do "church things" with, whether it was a Bible Study group, a potluck or whatever.  With my bff''s  illness, this has been missing in my life.  It is not her fault.
 

Our church has an aging congregation.  I am 64, but still, don't feel THAT OLD!   There are no church retreats of interest, no small Women's Bible Study groups.  Some of it is because of our pastor's view on Bible Study and women having a Bible Study group.  (We have one, but it is run by our deaconess in the evening).  I just want something informal with a couple of Christian like minded women and it doesn't matter to me if it is ecumenical.
 
I have missed what my pastor refers to as "happy-clappy" church music.  I am not saying the hymnal has to be thrown out,  but I do like contemporary Christian music and find it uplifting. 
 
I plan on trying out a Bible study at a different church.  I might also attend a service here and there, but still remain an active member of my home church.  I hope I can do this.
 
 



Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sitting by God - NOT What you Think!

The big event this week, was my second trip to a pre-season game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
 
We went a few years ago, but that was with tickets from our brother-in-law.  This time, we used our new season tickets!  Jim had been on the waiting list for 27 years!  We are in section 740, way up by God!  (it is noted that we are interested in an upgrade).
 
We started our adventure by going to Kohl's Department Store.  It was raining there; so much for fixing my hair!  The customer service department was holding an NFL Green Bay Packer polo shirt for my husband.  We picked that up, then went to Walmart to pick up some meds, ate at Sub-way, picked up our son from work, went home, quick changed and left for the game. 
 
Jim has a co-worker who owns a field near Lambeau for parking.  It is only about two blocks from the stadium, but our gate is on the opposite end of the stadium, so it was a bit of walking.  I wore my #12 Rogers jersey, and told Jim to hold my hand or he would be going home with the wrong #12!
 
We started ascending the escalators.  After two, I was getting dizzy, so we took the elevator.  Level seven is as high as it gets.  I am afraid of heights!  It was a steep climb up the steps to our seats, lucky row number 13!  As I got in my seat.  I hung onto the arm for dear life, kept my eyes closed and as I imagined  being stuck like this for the next three hours, a few tears rolled down my cheek.  Jim kept saying that I would get used to it, and after some time, I did.  Phew!  One poor lady left, walking sideways down the steps with her eyes closed, hanging on tightly to the railing, while her friend led her down.  I guess I'm not the only one who is afraid of heights!
 
Up by God!
Sitting with my honey.
 
The thing with a pre-season game is that it doesn't count!  It consists mostly of third and fourth string players that are applying for a job with any team from the NFL, so I didn't know the players.  I also don't know much about football, so kept asking Jim questions.  It was difficult without having the TV or radio announcer giving you the play by plays.  (You mean I have to pay attention?).
 
Still, it was an experience.  My favorite part of the game, was when a college grad sang The Star Spangled Banner and the fireworks went off from the stadium!





Sunday, August 14, 2016

Things Happen in Threes

Wow!  It's the middle of August already!   I have been a busy girl.
 
We had a wedding late July with a Hawaiian theme.  It was a second marriage and quite sweet.



We then went to a bar reunion of sorts.  I used to hang out in this bar in my early 20's.  Well, everyone is older now, I don't drink, so it was kind of weird.  Not only that, but the bar had burned down, so the reunion was held somewhere else.














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PACKER HALL OF FAME
and Home of the Green Bay Packers,
LAMBEAU FIELD!

Vince Lombardi


Curley Lambeau




The big G on the top of the Stadium

On the VIP Terrace

 
Clay Matthews doesn't scare me!




 
I really enjoyed the tour of the Stadium!  The best part was going through the tunnel the players go through on the way to the field.  They had sound effects of people cheering that got louder and louder as we got closer to the field and the door opened.  The Hall of Fame itself was interesting, but did not have any of the Superbowl trophies, but did have the rings.
 
 
The Packers are the only team who has the tradition on their first practice day of riding a kid's bicycle to the field, most of the time, either carrying the child, or the child running next to them.  They look pretty funny on those little bikes, but to the kids it's an honor!
 
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First our bathtub drain broke.  So, I had to get a plumber to fix that so our son could take baths!  Did you know that one of those rubber circle things that are used to open jars works pretty well as a stopper?

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One weekend the tall ships (schooners and the like) were sailing the great lakes and docked in Green Bay for the Tall Ship Festival.  Well, we had to check that out!









Took a tour of The Galeon from Spain



World's largest rubber duck?
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In the middle of a heat wave, our air conditioner decided to bite the dust!  As they say, "it isn't  the heat, it's the humidity!"

 Fortunately we had two fans, and opened every window in the house!  Still, some days we just couldn't catch a break and the breeze was not with us.
 
We called our usual heating contractor and purchased an AC, furnace, and humidifier.  All were pretty old (30?) and just easier to replace them now than when it is the middle of winter and we have no heat!
 
 
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The third thing that happened was my wash machine died!  I had piles and piles of laundry!  Jim went to the laundromat one day to wash his work clothes.  He said it was not a pleasant experience as the place was filthy!
 
In the midst of all this, I was trying to plan a rummage sale.  It was so hot and humid in the garage, I am always so tired, and all I could do was work on it a little at a time.  Finally, after about two weeks, I was ready to open.  That Friday, during the garage sale, my washer was delivered!  Yeah!  We worked around everything. So happy to have my new washer.  This time Jim bought the pedestal for it so I wouldn't have to bend over.  When the dryer goes (knock on wood), we will get a pedestal for that also.
 
I wish I could say my garage sale was a great success, but it was just okay.  I didn't have any really cool stuff to sell.  My son made more than I did with video games and the like. 
 
The first day, someone walked off with my ring case full of rings!  That was discouraging to say the least.  My bff and I had stamping and scrapping stuff for sale.  I probably could have priced my stuff a little higher.  It seems like the single stamps went better than sets!  Women's clothes doesn't go to well...waste of time and space!  I told my husband we are going to do this every year until we get rid of some of our junk, I mean treasures!
 
 
So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
 


Saturday, July 16, 2016

July is Festival Month!

July is zipping by!
 
I was still struggling with my abdominal pain, then my psoriasis spread to my ears and also my neck and face.  It itches and there are huge flakes!  Many people gave me advice and I found that using T-gel shampoo (for severe dandruff) to wash the areas, and my clobetesol (prescription) ointment on my neck and ears helped.  I just left my face alone, and put Aquaphor on the dry areas.  Ta da!  So happy these suggestions worked!
 
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Went to 4th on the Shore.  Bands, food and beer!  You can see the Badger Car ferry on the shore of Lake Michigan!
 






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Last weekend was Subfest in Manitowoc.  Manitowoc is the home of the Maritime Museum, hosting our very own submarine, the USS Cobia.  During WWII, 22 subs were built in Manitowoc. 
 
 


 
 
The city has combined things from the past; vendors, music, magic, fireworks, all the things that work for a great festival!
 
 
 
They have painted the Cobia black this year.
 





We enjoyed the lighted boat show on the river, and then the fireworks!


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 Last Wednesday I had my final test at Froedtert Medical Center for my abdominal pain. Previously
 I had  an MRI which showed a healthy bowel with no active Crohn's.  Wednesday I had an ileoscopy which is like a colonoscopy but they go through the opening on my tummy.  No Golytely!  I just had to go on clear liquids on Tuesday!  (Insert smile).  I had sedation, which made me very sleepy all day long and a little nauseous, but my husband rewarded me with lunch at the Waterstreet Brewery!  Yum!
 
The results of my ileoscopy again, showed a healthy bowel.  So, what is causing the pain?  Apparently I internalize all of my stress (SURPRIZE!)  This causes electrical impulses to travel to the nerves, and hence, I get Crohn's, psoriasis, intestinal pain, and interstitial cystitis!  Lucky me, but it could be worse, so I will deal with reducing my stress through prayer, meditation, exercise and yoga.  Wish me luck!